We have the opportunity of tasting five different ales from Gage Road Brewing, a more than interesting addition to the usual, and somewhat boring, local ales. This time, we were joined by a beer-seasoned Dubliner psychiatrist, Dr Alex Hegarty, which makes for a true international tasting committee. We have added the brewery notes to our comments.
Indian Pale Ale (5.4% ABV)
A malt-drive English IPA, with slightly spicy aroma, lingering bitterness and unfiltered.
Our verdict: a nice amber-coloured and cloudy IPA, lightly carbonated, malty and dry. This beer has a nice IPA smell, but is limited in bitterness and depth of flavour. Regardless of this, the IPA was the best of the lot.
Little Dove (6.2% ABV)
A Pale Ale with tropical fruit character, with aromas and flavour of melon, grapefruit and guava, balanced by red caramel malt and a bitter aftertaste.
Our verdict: Nice amber colour for a Pale Ale, sweet and floral, and less bitter than the IPA. Gentle to the palate and with a strong aftertaste. On a par with the IPA.
Single Finn (4.5% ABV)
Light bodied and chockful of aromatic Galaxy and Enigma hops.
Our verdict: An ale with a light colour, decent head and a clean refreshing taste. This is a very drinkable beer, but rather soft in the palate for an ale. Good for very warm days.
Atomic Pale Ale (4.7% ABV)
An American-style pale ale, dry hopped with four different American hops.
Our verdict: With a nice orange colour and cloudiness, this is unfortunately a very light pale ale, tasting more like a lager and lacking the typical
aftertaste of ales. Perhaps good for the American market only.
Break Water (4.5% ABV)
Crafted with 100% Australian malts and hops, a light-bodied, dry and unfiltered pale ale.
Our verdict: The worst of the lot. Lacking in depth, watery and with no aftertaste. It may be that the 100% Australian materials are not that helpful.
Gage Road Brewery is on the way to providing a wider selection of unfiltered ales (which is very welcome, in our view) but their creative use of hops produces mixed results. They present a highly competitive IPA, an interesting and more alcoholic pale ale, a light ale that is easy to drink, and two that still need more work.